Run Wild by Gill Lewis

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Run Wild by Gill Lewis

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Category: Dyslexia Friendly
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: A lovely, intelligent and heart-warming story of children finding a wolf in their city's wastelands. The scenario doesn't seem to provide for the most interesting of futures for either party, but this book certainly does. Marvellous.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 112 Date: July 2018
Publisher: Barrington Stoke
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781781128282

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Meet Izzy and Asha. Bullied away from the local attempt at a skatepark, they find a huge waste ground in the shadow of a derelict gasometer to practise on, which they duly do, even though they have to drag Izzy's younger brother with them. The following day they all want to return, as does the brother's schoolfriend, despite – and of course because of – there being a huge wolf living in the site. Can the children survive living in the urban wilderness, alongside such obvious dangers?

In the end, that's not the most pertinent question, for this book is not really about the wolf, and it's certainly not about skateboards. It's about various things I'll leave the potential reader to discover, but I will have to say that the manner in which everything comes to a head in unison in such pleasant ways really makes for this being an emotional read, and one that shows perfect storytelling at its simple best.

Of course, simple has in the past been a very derogatory term for those with reading disabilities, and Barrington Stoke, the publishers of this and so much more, make sure that people with dyslexia and a host of other problems can get the reading bug. They do this primarily through having powerful and contemporary stories, ones that never take the easy way out in providing a narrative, ones that can surprise and delight an adult at the best of times – but they also have technical details, like fine production values, the easiest-to-read fonts, the best paper stock even for such things. It all counts to making their output exceedingly accessible.

And, to repeat, just because this comes from what is thought of as a specialist publisher, it is in no way inferior. They deem this book's legibility to be that of a typical, mainstream book for eight-year-olds, which I can see to be true, although the archaeopteryx cameo cannot help that exactly, and they say the book's contents would appeal for children from then up to those aged twelve. Well, you can add me in that, too, for this tied up its unexpected themes in very clever ways, with a real emotional heft. I'll dismiss a few sentences towards the end that felt like the author speaking them and not the characters, and declare this to be a brilliant little gem.

I must thank the publishers for my review copy.

Another sporty endeavour with a large canine featuring in the story can be had for this audience with A Different Dog by Paul Jennings and Geoff Kelly.

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Buy Run Wild by Gill Lewis at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Run Wild by Gill Lewis at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Run Wild by Gill Lewis at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Run Wild by Gill Lewis at


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